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Art As Therapy

A “pARTy” or art event—whether it’s a birthday, bridal shower, baby shower, special milestone, for youth or adults, holiday celebrations, family time, special group or women’s wellness events—is an opportunity for youth, families, friends or special groups to have social outing at the art studio, while creating and completing an expressive personalized work of art. 
    It’s a great way for people to unleash their creativity in a safe and supportive way while bonding and enjoying the experience alongside friends and loved ones.
    Some individuals however, especially during the pandemic, enjoy engaging in an at home art party. This allows for a unique and fun experience where you still get to be creative with your friends in a more intimate setting and familiar environment with close loved ones letting loose and having fun.
    Art celebrations (in a therapeutic setting) assist individuals with social and cognitive development, expressing emotion in a healthy way, allow one to explore colors, problem solving, and most of all it promotes creativity. Everyone is an artist and @arttherapyoc encourages creative freedom.
    Art aids in healthy communication. As a leader, I focus on fostering empowerment, along with projects that include positive affirmations. I teach them ways to utilize art in their daily lives for healthy expression.
    The art process allows participants to strengthen their bond (bringing them together) through the creative art process and to appreciate each other’s different perspectives. It also empowers one’s creative thinking and stimulates teamwork among the participants. This in turn, improved the mental health care and wellbeing for the group through creativity and art.
    The creative expression through the celebratory therapeutic art process allows the group to gain new insight about themselves and each other. It fosters creative thinking and is a healthy outlet (coping mechanism) and allows people to connect through creative celebration. It empowers individuals with confidence & reinforces the building of optimism, resiliency and strength. Art brings people together to talk, laugh, learn, share ideas and create.
    Creating art as a group aids in teaching problem solving, self-love and appreciation. Art making can also be used as a confidence building tool, because there is no right or wrong way to create art. It helps calm and is a fun, healthy self-care activity to do together.
    Art aids in emotional expression and allows us to stop, breathe and experience soothing calmness. Art celebrations bring joyfulness, imagination, laughter and a shared love of creating, and can be utilized in practicing problem-solving skills and bringing out creativity.
    The creative art-making brings feelings of pride and success, and allows for healthy self-expression, awareness and an increase in self-confidence.
    The beneficial and fun art activities I often do with groups who are celebrating together are endless, but one might include a collaborative painting or collage where the theme or subject of the artwork is personalized and each individual’s piece comes together (just as it brings people together to all be a part of something special) to create one image.
    For example, it could be a special word and symbolization, an abstract design, or images and themes that come together for bonding, team building to make a unique cohesive picture that each person gets to keep a part of.
    Another example comes from a young boy’s birthday party. Initially he was really shy and experienced a lot of social anxiety as a result. But he wanted to have an art party  for his special day.
    The studio was filled with 30 of his friends and family. I encouraged, guided and supported him in helping teach/lead everyone in the painting session. He was excited to and coped well with leading a large group of peers, despite his shyness and anxiety. He rose to the occasion, and became involved as the teacher.
    He was not shy or anxious in those moments—he was confident. He walked around the room looking at what others were painting and offered suggestions. Also the kids were consulting him for advice. It’s important to encourage and support individuals on their skills and strengths and love for art, which he will hopefully always carry and utilize. Art was his therapy and in this case, so was the party! (See image of my “You are out of this world” Galaxy art party.)
    Another example comes from creating art with nature (my “Selfcare Succulents” workshop), which was great for a holiday celebration where children and families could create their own decorative centerpiece, which symbolizes a new fresh startt—watching the plants bloom and grow as a metaphor for either changing the season, celebrating a holiday about nature, or a milestone. It was something they could share and admire with loved ones. 
    The possibilities of art activities to do at a celebration are endless and so healing. I often enjoy finding, guiding and tailoring the activity especially for the family, so we can find what is most enjoyable for them. This, in turn, will hopefully inspire and motivate art and creativity as a tool or mindful activity to carry on in their everyday lives for healthy coping, selfcare, self-love and wellness.   

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